Unfancied Borneo Eagles has stunned the leading contenders at Darwin’s Hottest Sevens by romping to main title at Austar Park. The Eagles, sixth seeds for the weekend, shocked Samurai International 36-21in the final claiming the $23,000 (AUD) winner's cheque in the process. The winners caused a major upset in the semi-finals knocking out Wakimbizi Sevens (Kenya) 19-14 courtesy of a golden point in extra time in a nail-biter.
Unfancied Borneo Eagles has stunned the leading contenders at Darwin’s Hottest Sevens by romping to the main title at Austar Park.
The winners caused a major upset in the semi-finals knocking out Wakimbizi Sevens (Kenya) 19-14 courtesy of a golden point in extra time in a nail-biter.
Samurai dispatched top seeds South Sea Drifters 33-7 in the other semi-final to continue the series of upsets that were a feature of an ultra-competitive weekend of Sevens.
Borneo set their stall out to be as aggressive as possible in the main final in an attempt to disrupt the free flowing Samurai. The tactic paid dividends with the Eagles converting their territorial advantage with three early tries to race into a 19-0 lead.
Samurai pulled two tries back before the half but three runaway Borneo tries in the second half killed off their hopes to taking the title. Rocky Kahn was the standout man for the Sandaken based outfit with an impressive brace.
The Eagles have become the standard-bearers of the Malaysian state of Sabah and in partnership with the Sandakan Rugby Union, the Eagles help develop and promote rugby as a community service in the region.
Australian injury blow
Injury hit Australia, playing as the Aussie Spirit, were caught off guard at the quarter-final stage by Samurai in a surprising 29-10 loss.
The Aussies preparations for the next leg of the IRB Sevens World Series in Wellington (5-6 Feb) also took a huge hit with major injuires to Shaun Foley (broken ankle) and Brian Sefania (foot fracture). They were also without inspirational captain Patrick McCutcheon, who was watching from the stands with a groin strain.
In the other quarter-finals Wakimbizi Sevens edged Davetalevu (26-21), Borneo started their triumphant march to the title with a 24-14 win over Tugerranong Vikings, whilst 2009 runners-up the Drifters beat Randwick (36-7).
Randwick’s Galloping Greens had in fact been the standout team on day 1 of the competition with the Sydney side taking down the Kenyans 17-0. They also beat the NT Mosquitoes 29-12 and the Country King Browns 33-7 to top Pool B.
The Tuggeranong Vikings also shocked the Drifters, holding the two-time champions to a 19-all draw in Pool A. Fourth and fifth seeds Davetalevu and ULR Samurai played a 24-all draw in Pool D, with the Fijians finishing top of the table. Aussie Spirit, won all three of its games to top Pool C and were the only side to beat Borneo throughout the weekend.
Amazons shocked by Queensland
Queensland proved too strong for top seeds Amazon in the women’s competition final, winning 24-5. Despite the Amazons including Rugby World Cup Sevens 2009-winning captain Cheryl Soon and featuring a host of other Wallaroos, it was the Queenslanders who impressed throughout the weekend.
In other finals the NT Mozzies overcame Sunnybank to win the Plate final 29-5.